This is among dozens of blue paper studies presumably made in connection with the Cowes Regatta events in the late summer of 1827; see the Introduction to this subsection for others showing shipping under sail and in some cases apparently racing. Whether intentionally or fortuitously, the dramatic rolling of the boats, seen from astern, is reminiscent of the central incident in the painting Fishing Boats Entering Calais Harbour of about 1803 (Frick Collection, New York),1 engraved in 1816 for the Liber Studiorum (Tate impression: A01116).
As noted in the Introduction, the present work and thirty-four other sheets were recorded in Finberg’s 1909 Inventory as unmounted, and ‘formed part of [a] parcel’ labelled by John Ruskin ‘O. 232. Chalk scrawls on grey. Rubbish.’2
Blank; inscribed in pencil ‘232 | O’ top left, upside down; inscribed in pencil ‘CCXXVIII . 31’ bottom right.